Building Leaders: Lee Crewson, Founder & President

Oct 2, 2020 | Team Peak

Leaders influence and inspire. Leaders empower others to lead. 

We expect everyone at Peak, regardless of title or experience, to conduct themselves as leaders in all of their dealings, internally and externally. When your management team is constructed with professionals who’ve grown through experience (successful and sometimes not-so) you learn a thing or two about being an effective leader.

In this series, Peak’s own leadership will share some of the lessons they have learned about what makes effective leaders and moreover, what qualities make them an effective leader. 

We begin with our Founder and President, Lee Crewson, who explains how self-awareness (and a little bit of humor) have served him and his team well in delivering construction projects on time, on budget, or better.

Transparency/Honesty/Self-Awareness

One of the lessons that I have learned along the way is to be more transparent and open about my abilities, while dropping the facade of knowing everything all of the time. 

I find that being more honest about what I know and, more importantly, what I don’t know allows me the opportunity to garner more insights from my team. 

My team is my team because I trust them and because I know they are experts in their respective areas. So, it benefits me (and our clients) to get as much insight as I can from each member of the team before making final decisions. 

This also gives me the opportunity to earn trust and buy-in from my team members. 

Also, if you are truthful about who you are and what you know, you don’t have anything to hide. You have a more grounded perception of where you actually are. So, again, you can focus your team and work to make improvements and pull, push, or move with the team toward your target. 

Communication

Along the same lines of building trust is the lesson that you can never under-communicate. It is imperative that you keep communication open and free-flowing, constantly. 

A lack of communication will erode trust. When you’re not sharing the full story, other people will fill in the gaps of the story with their own idea, not yours. You may have very good intentions, but if you don’t communicate those intentions frequently and clearly, they will lead to potential misinterpretation, which again, will erode trust. 

In this way, silence is NOT golden.

Sense of Humor

Another important lesson I have learned is to always keep a sense of humor. The work environment consumes such a large portion of our time. We often spend more of our waking hours at work than with our families.

So, we really have to enjoy what we do, and to enjoy one another. One way to do that is by having a sense of humor. 

I always enjoy a good laugh and sometimes a well-timed quip can change the tension in a room or put a smile on someone’s face, improving their day. But, we never have fun at the expense of someone else. That’s uncalled for in our environment, so we do our best to maintain respect at all times. 

That sense of humor must be able to be turned inward as well. You can’t take things too seriously. And you have to be able to look in the mirror and poke fun at yourself sometimes. 

Never Give Up

When you’re struggling with something, you put it down, you come back to it a little later, look at it again, circle your team, get some fresh eyes on it, find a new way to overcome the obstacle, etc. But you should never, ever quit. Shoving it aside, thinking it will magically go away, doesn’t work either. 

Continue to work hard, even in the face of uncertainty. Put one foot in front of the other. Push through until you find a solution to the problem at hand. You always will. Especially when you communicate transparently with a team that knows they can trust you. I promise.

Stay tuned to this space for more leadership lessons from Peak’s management team. 

 

About the author

Lee Crewson

Lee Crewson

Founder & President

Lee has made commercial construction management his life’s work, focusing on building places where people live like multi-family, hospitality, student housing, and senior living for successful developers. He’s also committed to the values of this country and has over twenty five years of service in both the active and reserve forces as a Commissioned Officer in the US military. Lee embraces the power of a committed team that collaborates early and often and is happy to guide any developer who shares the same philosophy for success. Reach him anytime at LeeC@TeamPeak.com.

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